In an incredible achievement for the Naracoorte CFS brigade, two of their members, Allan Marshall and Shane Francis, have received Australian Fire Service Medals, the highest honour that can be bestowed in the national fire service.
Mr Marshall has been with the Naracoorte CFS Brigade since 1977, and in his decades of service he has acted as a firefighter, brigade captain, deputy group officer, brigade peer support (stress prevention and management) and a HazMat training officer.
Mr Marshall has also helped in training, logistics, administration, occupational health and safety, and cadet supervision. His medal is in recognition of his excellent leadership capabilities, and commitment to bringing out the best in people. Mr Marshall has gone beyond the call of duty to provide assistance to CFS personnel who may need assistance after dealing with traumatic events.
Mr Francis joined the CFS in 1978. Mr Francis has been a firefighter, a brigade lieutenant, deputy group officer, and is the current group officer for the Naracoorte CFS, which is the highest volunteer position.
Mr Francis has also been involved in administration, with roles such as brigade equipment officer, group equipment officer, and bushfire investigator. Within his work, Mr Francis's focus on safety and operational leadership has resulted in significant improvements in how the CFS approach emergency events.
His unwavering support and encouragement to individual personnel has been phenomenal, which has created a greater capability in the collective CFS. This support, along with his continuous commitment to community safety, earned Mr Francis his medal.
Mr Marshall and Mr Francis described themselves as "shocked" by their accolade, and remained humble.
"It's good to be recognised, but there's also a lot who have done more than us," Mr Francis said.
"It took awhile to sink in, because this a service that I enjoy doing - I don't do it to get accolades," Mr Marshall added.
The CFS is always looking for more volunteers, and Mr Marshall and Mr Francis encourage people to get involved. As well as positions on the frontline, the CFS are always looking for people in administration, radio dispatch, and logistics.